Laia Contigo: an App for mental health care during motherhood – #BHHMembersInitiatives

The mental health of society has become one of the primary concerns of governments and their public health strategies, with the aim of trying to curb a notable increase in the incidence of mental disorders that has been growing steadily in recent years.

In Spain, the incidence of mental health problems is twice as high in women as in men. Moreover, the perinatal stage is a period of high psychological vulnerability for women, where studies suggest that 25% of women in our country suffer or will suffer a mental disorder during maternity and up to 90% of them will experience symptoms of sadness or anxiety. But the most worrying aspect of these figures is that more than 75% of these women will never be diagnosed or treated, with all the complications that this entails for the woman’s health, for the evolution of pregnancy and childbirth, for the couple, for the maternal-filial bond and for the neurodevelopment of the baby’s child.

In this area, the Laia Contigo app has focused on helping women during their journey through motherhood, from preconception, pregnancy and postpartum. The app offers reliable information, based on current scientific evidence, on the possible psychological and emotional changes that occur during motherhood through articles, videos and podcasts, as well as emotional management tools such as mindfulness to do at home and the possibility of written and video consultations with a professional specialised in perinatal psychiatry.

A common space has also been created for all the users of the application where they can create a community of mothers, the “Tribu de Laia” (Laia’s Tribe). The tribe offers the possibility of sharing experiences of motherhood with other mothers in the Laia Contigo community, in order to work on social support with other mothers who are going through similar experiences and thus feel more supported and understood.

“We wanted to create a space from which to accompany and care for women during their maternity, giving them a space from which to address such a taboo subject as mental health during this stage, so that they can stop suffering in silence and feel accompanied,” says Irene González, psychologist and founder of Laia Contigo. Estel Soto, co-founder and perinatal psychiatrist comments on the importance of bringing a clinical perspective to the platform: “With this platform we want to change the way we accompany the emotional health of women during the transition to motherhood, offering professional care based on current scientific evidence and, at the same time, warm and close, without judgement or prejudice and from active listening, understanding and empowerment.”

Laia Health SL is a company founded in 2021 in Terrassa, promoted by ESADE’s Ideaup Challenge accelerator, was born with the aim of breaking the silence surrounding mental health during maternity, to accompany and support all women and mothers who need it, through the “Laia Health” app already available on the App Store and PlayStore.